Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"She already knew everything."

This is a beautiful story shared by the South Central region. It is an inspiring example of a searching soul investigating and finding answers in the Faith. One important point it highlights is that many who contact the Bahá’ís over the Web or on the toll-free phone line (1-800-22UNITE) will study the Faith on their own and decide to declare before ever meeting a Bahá’í.

You just never know when you talk with someone, what their story will be.

__ is a new believer who says that the Bahá'í Faith is 100% of what she believes—even more! For half her life she has been searching, reading, studying, attending lectures on many subjects, including world religions. She really likes to know things. Until finding the Faith, she said that she had not really connected with anything. In church, as a child, she would ask questions on her heart, and others found them difficult. The answer was usually, "Because that's just the way it is" or "That's what's in the Bible”. . . .

In the summer of 2008, she decided to join a social networking internet site. She came across the “Bahá’í” group and decided to join. A few months later she began to research the Faith on the Web. She read everything on the www.bahai.org and www.bahai.us sites. She was stunned to find that there was a religion that had everything she believed, but she had never met any Bahá'ís. She wondered, "Where have you been my whole life?" So she requested through the Web site that literature and information to be sent to her. She also checked out several books at the library and purchased others—all of this before ever meeting any Bahá’ís.

There was a new staff who recently started on at her place of work, and the two hit it off with each other right away. __ learned that this new colleague was friends with a Bahá’í. __ could not believe it. “What did you say? You know a Bahá’í?” So through her co-worker she got the number of this Bahá’í.

When __ received the materials she had requested from the Web site, she read through all of it. After that she detached the registration card, signed it, and sent it to the Office of Bahá’í Information with a lovely note: "Thank you for helping me make sense of the world. I never understood why religions didn't make sense to me. Now it has all come together. There are other people who believe as I do!” She then contacted a Bahá'í-owned business through the internet (it sells prayer beads) and talked with a Bahá'í for the first time. They had a wonderful conversation, and __ was grateful to finally speak with another believer.

Tonight she and I went through fundamental principles of the Faith using Anna's Presentation over the phone to complete the confirmation process. (I explained that this is part of the process when a person is in an isolated locality and has never met with a Bahá’í about their declaration.) She already knew everything. She also knew about Feast and the Calendar and repeating the Greatest Name. She is fasting and looking forward to Naw Rúz and asked how she could contribute to the Fund.

It was such a bounty to meet this new, deepened Bahá'í. She feels blessed, and so do I; and I believe the whole community is blessed as well.

No comments: